labbra da granita (slushie lips)

Boys and Summer

I grew up with three sisters and thus the whole raising boys thing is completely new territory for me. Who knew wrestling and tickling on the bed could provide the same satisfaction for my boys as taking my daughter on a two hour shopping/lunch date? They are easy in these wonderful ways that boys simply are.

One of my favorite things about raising boys is watching how they take pleasure in (self-initiated) work. They love feeling strong and capable and the older they get, I have to say, it's coming in more and more handy when it comes to carrying groceries in, taking the trash out, or in the case of this photo, "carrying a watermelon." (Anyone else think of Baby from Dirty Dancing when you read that?)

Summer. Boys. They seem to go together. From the tan line across their lower backs (one of my favorite physical aesthetics on humans) to playing baseball, splashing in the pool, and burying themselves in the sand.

First Bank of Keziah

I couldn't help but share this one...

My daughter has a lot of creative much that my stomach sort of aches whenever she tells me she has an idea. You see, her ideas do not involve making cute little bracelets or picking out a Da Vinci print to copy. No, no. Her ideas involve crafting machinery, sewing elaborate dresses, creating restaurants and shops and oh my goodness, the list goes on and on.

Every now and then, I conjure up the energy to help out, or in the very least, document, her conception of what, surprisingly, most often, looks like what she had in mind. (Did I really just write a sentence with five commas?)

She donned my glasses, which she couldn't see out of at all, and being the wonderful little poser she is, gave me her "serious face," because after all, bankers are pretty serious. Especially the ones who create machines that will produce money so we can be rich, as was her idea. :)

The Veneto

Last week we took a last-minute getaway to the Veneto, visiting Verona, Lago de Garda and Thomas' old U.S. Army stomping grounds, Vicenza. Of course, I am disappointed we didn't make it to Venice, the city of water, but we had a wonderful time nonetheless. Some friends let us stay with them in Verona and there we visited the Arena, Juliet's balcony (and of course we wrote on her wall), a number of famous architectural anomalies, as well as a photo exhibit of Henri Cartier-Bresson's work. Verona is magical and I was very sad to leave this beautiful city, rich in history and in culture, yet small in a way that made me feel more at home than where I sit now, in our "home" outside of Torino. We also made it to Gardaland, an under-glorified Disney World. I was pleasantly surprised to find it clean, spacious, and not crowded. There is nothing like sitting next to your child as they experience the thrill of a roller coaster for the first time, whether that "thrill" was traumatizing or not. :)

A Day in the Mountains

I met Allesandra at McDonald's on a Friday afternoon. I was most likely yelling at one of my children in English when one of her twin sons made his way over to his mother and said, in Italian, "Loro parlono in inglese" (they speak English). As life would have it, a friendly Allesandra introduced herself and told me that her boys go to an English-speaking school and thus her interest in American culture was heightened. We continued to see each other for several months on some Fridays and then finally we got our families together. They have a lovely little flat in the mountains and they invited us a few weeks ago for a "grigliata" (a barbeque). It was a beautiful day in Sestriere, home of some of the winter Olympic games in 2006. We walked a trail through the luscious green hills, in the midst of the French Alps and hunted for mushrooms, watched for prairie dogs, drank from fountains that are always running with mountain water, discovered a little cheese farm, complete with a little puppy that followed us all the way to the car, and enjoyed the great company and their knowledge of their little mountain city. Thanks Allesandra and Roberto! These pics are for you guys!